GENERIC NAME: SALMETEROL INHALATION - ORAL (sal-MET-er-all)
BRAND NAME(S): Serevent
WARNING: Rarely, serious (sometimes fatal) asthma-related breathing problems have occurred with the use of long-acting inhaled beta agonists (e.g., salmeterol). Therefore, in patients with asthma, this drug should only be prescribed when one long-term medication (e.g., inhaled corticosteroids) does not control breathing problems or when more than one long-term medication is clearly needed to control breathing problems. Before using this medication, it is important to learn how to use it properly. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication with your doctor.
USES: Salmeterol is used as a long-term (maintenance) treatment to prevent or decrease wheezing and trouble breathing caused by asthma or ongoing lung disease (e.g., COPD, emphysema). It is also used to prevent asthma brought on by exercise (bronchospasm). Salmeterol works in the airways by relaxing muscles and opening air passages to improve breathing. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.This medication does not work immediately and should not be used for sudden attacks of breathing trouble. Your doctor must prescribe a quick-relief medicine/inhaler (e.g., albuterol) for sudden shortness of breath/asthma attacks while you are on this medication. You should always have a quick-relief inhaler with you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.This medication is usually used in combination with other medications such as long-acting inhaled corticosteroids. However, it should not be used with other long-acting inhaled beta agonists (e.g., formoterol, combination salmeterol/fluticasone) since this may increase your risk for side effects.In patients with asthma, this medication should not be used when breathing problems can be controlled with inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., flunisolide, fluticasone) and occasional use of quick-relief inhalers. (See also Warning section.)If you are regularly taking corticosteroids by mouth (e.g., prednisone), you should not stop using them or use this inhaled medication instead. Continue to follow your doctor's instructions for taking the corticosteroids by mouth.
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